Definition of pocket shelf

This the area behind the pocket points before the pocket. The ball can get behind here and rest waiting to be pocketed, or the cue ball can get corner hooked in this location. Different tables feature a smaller or larger area here which can make these situations more or less achievable.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

The cue ball's position after a shot. "Good" or "bad" in reference to a leave describe respectively and advantageous or disadvantageous position for the next shot, or to leave an incoming opponent safe.
The normal phenomenon where the object ball is pushed in a direction very slightly off the pure contact angle between the two balls. Caused by the friction imparted by the first ball sliding past or rotating against the other ball.
A bank shot that follows a Z shaped pattern as it bounces off of two rails.
The triangular device, generally plastic, used to group the balls in a pyramid form prior to the beginning of a game.
Also bigs, big balls, big ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the striped suit (group) of balls (9 through 15); "you're big, remember", "you're big balls" or "I've got the big ones". Compare stripes, yellows, high, overs; contrast little.
Be in a game where either because of disparity in skill level, or because of a handicap given, it would be very difficult to lose.
Linen made from flax and produced in Ireland which is often used to wrap the gripping area of the butt of a cue.
Also spot-stroke, spot hazard. A form of nurse shot in English billiards, in which the red ball, which must be spotted to a specific location after every time it is potted before another shot is taken, is potted in such as way as to leave the cue ball in position to repeat the same shot, permitting a skilled player to rack up many points in a single break (series of shots in one visit).
When complete focus allows you to execute quality billiards play with simplicity and seeming ease.
A rule in blackball whereby after an opponent has faulted and thus yielded two shots, if the incoming shooter pots a ball on the first shot, (s)he is still allowed to miss in a later shot and take a second shot in-hand (from the "D" or from baulk, or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere)—even on the black, in most variants. Also called the "two visits" rule; i.e., the two penalty shots are considered independent visits to the table, and the limiting variants discussed at two shots below cannot logically apply.
Same as triple.
A British term (especially in snooker) for the splitting of a group of balls when another ball is sent into them, typically with the intent of deliberately moving them with the cue ball to develop them.
In blackball, a penalty conceded by a player after a fault. The incoming opponent is then allowed to miss twice before the faulting player is allowed another visit. Many local rules state the in-hand from the "D" or baulk (or if the opponent potted the cue ball, from anywhere) nature of the second shot is lost if a ball is potted on the first shot, that it is lost if the ball potted in the first shot was that player's last coloured ball (object ball in their group), and/or that there is only ever one shot on the black after a fault.
Also lows, low, low ones. In eight-ball, to be shooting the solid suit (group) of balls (1 through 7); "you're low, remember", "you're low balls" or "I've got the lows." Compare solids, reds, little, spots, dots, unders; contrast high.
A slang term for a cue, usually used with "piece", as in "that's a nice piece of wood".
A specific way of holding the shaft in your hand. The closed hand bridge is a hand bridge where the index finger wraps over the cue stick for control.
A tactic employed in UK eight-ball pool in which a player calls and pots one of the balls in a favorably lying set, then plays safe, leaving as many of his/her well-placed balls on the table as possible, until the opponents commits a foul or leaves a chance that the player feels warrants an attempt at running out.
Toward the foot of the table.
This is a shot that is meant to remove one of your opponent's balls that lies near their pocket in the game of one pocket.
The object ball involved in a key shot.
Also known as back spin, a type of spin applied to the cue ball by hitting it below its equator, causing it to spin backwards even as it slides forward on the cloth. Back spin slows the cue ball down, reduces its travel, and narrows both the carom angle after contact with an object ball, and angle of reflection off a cushion. There are several variant terms for this, including "bottom" and "bottom spin" in the US and "screw" in the UK. Draw is thought to be the first spin technique understood by billiards players prior to the introduction of leather tips, and was in use by the 1790s.
The pocket in snooker that is closest to the green spot.
To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
"Pocket billiards," or a game in which balls are shot into pockets.